Obama’s Cairo Speech Fuels BBG Broadcasters’ Conversation on US-Muslim Relations

As President Obama seeks to reach Muslim audiences with his June 4 speech in Cairo, BBG broadcasters will engage their audience (of 175 million people weekly), bringing them into a discussion of the address and of broader issues in US-Muslim relations.

The BBG’s 60 broadcast languages will cover Obama’s speech, and it will be broadcast live with simultaneous translation in a number of languages, including Arabic, Urdu, Pashto and Persian. BBG multimedia broadcasts will feature reaction from the streets and from experts in the United States and throughout the Arab and Muslim world.

For example, Alhurra TV’s three hour evening program Al Youm is asking viewers to share their expectations for Obama’s remarks through e-mails and Al Youm’s Facebook page. The program will interview students from Alazhar University in Cairo and throughout the Middle East before and after the speech. Radio Sawa will also broadcast the speech live, with simultaneous Arabic translation. In addition, Alhurra is conducting online polling in Arabic and English to gauge real-time reactions.

In the lead-up to the speech VOA’s audience has interacted via e-mail, Twitter, YouTube and myVOA.com. VOA correspondents asked Muslims around the world how the United States could improve relations and compiled video clips online of audience expectations for Obama’s Cairo speech. The Obama remarks will be streamed live on TV, radio and online in English with post-speech analysis and live feeds from Cairo, Jerusalem, London and Kabul.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Free Afghanistan will review feedback from across the region. In addition, correspondents in Indonesia, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Morocco, Iraq and the UAE will gauge expectations and impact on the ground.

VOA reporters in Michigan and Alhurra reporters in New York will cover the reactions of the large Arab and Muslim populations there.

Radio and TV Marti will cover the address for Cuban audiences, while Radio Free Asia will report for its audiences, including China’s Muslim Uyghur minority.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information, and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas. BBG broadcasting organizations include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti). BBG broadcasts reach over 175 million people worldwide on a weekly basis.

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